John Flint

Global bank and financial service organisation HSBC has announced that director and group chief executive John Flint has stepped down.

Despite a reported profit after tax increase by 18.1% to $9.9bn (in comparison to 1H 2018), Flint will give up his position following a “mutual agreement” with HSBC’s board.

Mark Tucker, group chairman, HSBC, said: “On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank John for his personal commitment, dedication and the significant contribution that he has made over his long career at the Bank. Today’s positive interim results particularly reflect John’s achievements as group chief executive.

“HSBC is in a strong position to deliver on its strategy. In the increasingly complex and challenging global environment in which the Bank operates, the Board believes a change is needed to meet the challenges that we face and to capture the very significant opportunities before us.”

HSBC’s board has begun the search for a new group chief executive and will be considering internal and external candidates.

Noel Quinn will assume the roles of interim group chief executive until a successor is appointed and to join the board as an executive director.

Noel Quinn – HSBC

HSBC said Flint will “remain available” to assist the company with the transition.

John Flint commented: “It has been a privilege to spend my entire career with HSBC, rising from international officer trainee to serve as group chief executive. 

“I am grateful to my wonderful colleagues at the Bank for their support during my career, and I am proud of what we achieved together.

“I have agreed with the Board that today’s good interim results indicate that this is the right time for change, both for me and the Bank. 

“After almost 30 years with HSBC, I will be sad to leave but I do so looking forward to a new personal challenge, and confident that our people will continue to serve the Bank’s stakeholders in the best possible way.”

On top of this the banking giant is to cut 4,000 jobs, with senior executives set to be the focus of the cutbacks.

“We expect this year to have $650 million to $700 million of severance costs; that involves less than 2% of our workforce,” said chief financial officer Ewen Stevenson.

“It’s about 4% of our total salary costs, so you should assume from that it is targeted at more senior people in the organisation.”